Customers occasionally call us and report finding swarms of small ants in and around their kitchens as well as on the outside of the home. Sometimes, the ants in question are of a species known as the white-footed ant.
White-footed ants are extremely small, growing to only 2.7mm (About 1/10 inch) in length. They are usually black or brown in color and can be most easily recognized by their white or yellow colored feet.
The white-footed ant is most often found in Florida, where they are a common problem for homeowners during the spring and summer seasons. However, while they not as prevalent outside of Florida, the white-footed ant can be found throughout the Southeast, including here in Georgia.
White-footed ants are often spread unintentionally by humans when they hitch a ride on plants or on landscaping materials such as mulch. These materials will be taken to a new location, such as a home, and the ants will spread around the area in search of food to scavenge. Because of their small size, the ants are sometimes able to access areas that would be sealed from other pests.
One scenario that can be particularly problematic is when a homeowner brings a plant that is carrying the ants inside the home. This can allow them to establish a nest indoors, which can be an unexpected and unwanted surprise for homeowners.
The white-footed ant has a fairly diverse diet, feeding on sweets, proteins, and dead insects. They are very fond of food scraps left by humans, and for this reason, will often be found around kitchens or outdoor eating areas. Once an ant has found a food supply, they will communicate with the rest of the colony, and swarms of ants will move into areas where food is available.
Fortunately, white-footed ants do not sting or bite, and their workers do not cause any structural damage to your home. However, the ants are often a nuisance to homeowners due to their scavenging. With each nest of ants containing millions of members, they can be problematic due to their sheer numbers.
The best way to protect your home from the nuisance of white-footed ants is to prevent them from accessing the home in the first place. Carefully inspect any plants, pine straw, or mulch for ants, and be especially careful with any house plants.
If you are spotting these ants in your home, it is likely that they have a nest somewhere nearby. The best way to find these nests is to simply follow the trail of ants back from a food source to their nest. This can allow you to find the source of the ants and remove it from your home. If the ants are already well established in your home, it is often best to call in a professional pest service to inspect and treat your home.
At Canton Termite and Pest Control, we have decades of experience treating for pests of all kinds, including wildlife. Our technicians begin any treatment with a thorough inspection of the property, and use this to identify any signs of pest activity and any conditions that might be conducive to future infestations. Rather than using basic, generalize treatment options, we formulate safe, targeted treatment plans to deal with your pest problems in the most efficient way!
So if you are dealing with pests, or simply have a question, call us today at 770-479-1598!
Here’s to YOU living pest free!